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Fourteen Not So Easy Steps to a Successful Environmental Management Program

September 1998

Citation: ELR 10519

Author: Alvin L. Alm

Editors' Summary: In 1989, the DOE created the Environmental Management (EM) program to clean up contamination caused by the production of nuclear weapons. In recent years, the DOE has suffered congressional criticism and reduced budgets. Although the EM program pushed for greater efficiency, its initiative lacked a coherent strategy necessary to address the overall cleanup program. This Dialogue identifies 14 principles that are vital to the cleanup of the DOE's nuclear weapons complex. The author argues that aggressive and competent implementation of these principles will increase both the success and cost-effectiveness of the DOE's cleanup. The author, however, concludes that, without increased authority and flexibility for the assistant secretary in charge of the EM program, such implementation is not possible under the DOE's current organizational structure.

Alvin L. Alm is the executive vice president of the Arlington, Virginia, consulting firm The Columbus Group, Mr. Alm served as the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Management program from February of 1996 to January of 1998. He has held executive positions with several companies including Science Applications International Corporation, Alliance Technologies Corporation, and Thermo Analytical Corporation. He has also served as deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA's assistant administrator of Planning and Management, and staff director of the Council on Environmental Quality. In addition, Mr. Alm was a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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